Spotlight on coronial justice
The Hillsborough and Sydney Siege Inquests
In the first half of 2016, two very different but significant inquests — on opposite sides of the world — entered their final stages. In Sydney, Australia, the inquest into the deaths resulting from the 17-hour siege at the Lindt café in December 2014 has been undergoing its final segment of public hearings before State Coroner Michael Barnes, after beginning in January 2015. The inquest has scrutinised the siege and events around it, including key questions such as why the gunman was on bail, what the authorities knew about him, and police decision-making in response to the siege. Meanwhile, on 26 April 2016, in Warrington, north-west England, following a two-year hearing beginning in March 2014, the jury emerged after two weeks of deliberation to deliver the conclusion of 'unlawful killing' in the Hillsborough Inquests before the Right Honourable Sir John Goldring, sitting as Assistant Coroner.